Janet Connor

Norwegian Project Support, 2013

Janet Connor’s project explored how immigrant children are socialized to the complex language ideologies that exist within Norway. Unlike most other European nations, Norway has two standard written languages, each of which allows for much internal variation. Spoken Norwegian is made up of a large variety of regional dialects, and the use of a specific dialect indicates that the speaker belongs to a particular place and establishes claims to that region’s identity. The Norwegian linguistic context thus presents an unusual challenge to immigrants. In her Fulbright‐funded fieldwork in an Oslo primary school—whose student body is over 95% first‐ or second‐generation immigrant—Connor examined how immigrant communities recognize and align themselves with cultural values that are attached to specific dialects. Roth Endowment project support enabled Connor to perform a comparative study in Steinkjer, a town in Trøndelag, a region in central Norway known for its distinctive dialect. Connor’s project has already begun to receive attention both from anthropologists and non‐academics.